Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    May 17, 2011 9:30pm-10:00pm PDT

9:30 pm
women, most notably also called comfort women, and their service, not their service but the brutality and violence that they actually endured. so i commend them for their strength and endurance. >> supervisor kim. supervisor kim: i would like to also add my name as a co-sponsor. i have long been a supporter of equity for those who served our country. thank you for bringing this resolution forward. >> supervisor kim wanted to be added as a co-sponsor along with supervisor mirkarimi and supervisor cohen. with that, this resolution is adopted. madam clerk. could you read the in memoriams for today. >> i have in in memoriams for today.
9:31 pm
>> with that, madam clerk, do we have any more business in front of this board? that concludes our business for today. >> at this time, the board of supervisors meeting is adjourned for the evening. >> bridges? bridges present. director heinicke? he is in the room. he will be here. director lee? present. mr. chairman, you have a quorum. item three, the announcement of
9:32 pm
prohibition of sound-producing devices. any person responsible for one going off may be removed from the meeting. please be advised that phones in the tiebreak position to cause interference, so we respectfully request that they be placed in the opposition -- adam four, approval of the minutes of the mystery -- may 3 meeting and the may 10 special meeting. public comment. >> yellow cab, 23 years, native san franciscan. give me two minutes. thank you. i just wanted to comment on my comments. and also the order in which nine was posted. it does not reflect the fact that eight people from the public wanted to speak on item nine, and they had to wait two
9:33 pm
and a half hours. that was not after item 8. it was postponed until the end of the meeting, thereabout. by the way, they were only given one minute to speak after waiting approximately four hours to speak. i thought that a little on just, just to say the least. but on my own comments, i talked about the town hall meetings. they were to be scheduled. i will give you just about what i said exactly, and that was the day are a waste of time, a waste of energy, and a waste of money. we had those, and i do not think we have gotten very far in having them. i just wanted those to be included in the minutes in my comments and also the reflection of the fact that nine was not after eight in the proper order.
9:34 pm
thank you very much. >> ok, do we have a motion to approve the minutes? all those in favor? and the pros? motion passes. >> item 5, communications. directors, please be advised that on your agenda today, in the closed session, items related to the executive director and the appointment of an interim executive director have been removed from today's agenda. i know of no other comments. >> appear as requested by the members of the taxi industry, the board has set aside time for consideration of the taxi item on today's agenda. when we reach 1:30, we will finish whatever item we happen to be discussing and moved to items 11 and 12. anticipate public, on matters not within the agenda but within the jurisdiction of the board as well as the consent calendar will not be heard until after the taxi item.
9:35 pm
those of you here for other sections of the agenda, we apologize for this inconvenience. madam secretary. >> thank you. next item on the agenda is introduction of new or unfinished business by board members. director brinkman: thank you. i just wanted to thank staff for the memo of may 3, which was an update on the bike ways, with a timeline on there. it looks like things are moving forward on that, but in light of the fact that we have had a lot more input from the public on bike to work day, both the mayor and our chairman of the board wrote on their way in and commented that it definitely is still a scary gap in the system. it is perhaps slightly unprecedented, but i checked with director lee, and we
9:36 pm
thought we would like to take a look at it and see if there's anything we can do, even on a temporary emergency basis while the permanent plan is moving forward. director lee: no problem. anyone else? >> item 7, executive directors report. >> ok, mr. chairman, recognizing that we will be moving to the taxi-related items at 1:30, i will give you a portion of my report, and i guess we can reconvene after we hear items 11 and 12, i believe it is. so, good afternoon. the first item in my report that we need to address is the sunshine of the ibew labor agreement local 6, which represents our electricians. i would like to call up our director of administration, taxi, and accessible services to provide an update on the status
9:37 pm
of the labor agreement. >> good afternoon. thank you. i am the director of administration of taxis and accessible services. last year on june 15, the mta board of directors approved the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement between the mta and the international brotherhood of electrical workers local 6. the collective bargaining agreement expires june 30, 2012. however, the terms approved included a 3.75% wage reductions and a provision enabling local six or the mta to reopen for economic terms for fiscal year 2011-2012. on january 18 of this year, ibew local 6 requested an economic opener, and it began marketing in march. the representatives -- to to to
9:38 pm
agreement on april 29 on a number of issues, including restoration of a 3.75% to bargain and its members-based hourly unit of pay, changes in the language regarding the normal work schedule, which will save overtime costs by creating a work schedule, which eliminates premium paid for working saturdays and sundays, elimination of the sfmta performance and attendance incentives, and the reduction of five floating holidays to to floating holidays. this tentative agreement was ratified by local 6 membership on may 4. therefore, per the city charter, the ibew local 6, and sfmta agreement is being formally sunshine today. copies are available here today, and the tentative agreement is available for review all online at if you have questions, i would be more than happy to address them. thank you very much.
9:39 pm
>> the next item i wanted to bring to your attention was a report regarding the m.t.a.'s over time. this has been a subject of much discussion over the past few weeks, both at the board of supervisors and in the media and our own policy and governance committee has also expressed interest as it relates to overtime in the agency, and our current budget. i would like to point out that over time is one of literally hundreds of budget line items for this agency, and with a budget of nearly $800 million, or overtime currently appears to be in the approximately $50 million range in terms of the end of this fiscal year. what i would like to do is have soni bose -- sonalui bose , and
9:40 pm
give your presentation. just want to point out, and in terms of our usage of overtime, particularly in transit operation, our system clearly is labor intensive. 80% of our operation -- 80% of our budget is related to salaries and operations. particularly as it relates to transit operations, we need to have an operator on every vehicle. it is not something that can be -- if someone does not show up to work or is for whatever reason unable to perform their duties, there's not a way to share that work load. we have to have a body on every bus and train. during the course of the year, a large part of our over time is related to covering vacancies, whether they are due to attendance in disciplinary action and things of that nature or training, for that matter. when we send people for retraining, we have to backfill for those individuals. there is a host of different reasons why we do expend over time, and we do monitor on a
9:41 pm
daily basis. john and his folks do a great job trying to manage through those issues and make prudent decisions almost on a daily basis. sometimes, there is unplanned situations. most of us at this juncture last year were not sure that the san francisco giants were going to make it into the world series, but for the city and the giants, it was a great thing, and they did make it through playoffs, made it through additional championship competition in terms of the playoffs as well as the world series, and then, we had a very massive parade. that was not planned in terms of our actual operation and budgeting for overtime. that is just one example. there is clearly a special event that occurs on an annual basis. we know exactly what those are, situations. just as sunday where we dealt with bay to breakers, there was
9:42 pm
a unique situation because it was the 100-year anniversary, and we expected a great deal more participation. to that end, i think we would much rather overreact in terms of dealing with these particular situations and making sure we have enough personnel to handle them safely so everyone can enjoy those events, rather than managing to an edict or managing to a budget. the overtime situation for this agency from an edict standpoint could be solved tomorrow. we could make a decision not to use overtime and stay within our budget limits, but i think that would be an unsafe situation. it would clearly have negative impact in terms of our operation and had a negative impact in terms of our writers and the public in general -- of inriders and the public in general. we may come in under budget this year. while we may be over budget in terms of overtime, we will be
9:43 pm
under budget in terms of the agency's overall budget because we have savings in other line items that cannot receive as much attention. those are savings that are part are controlling our budget. and we have salaries and wages well below budget. that offsets the overtime overage, but with that, that was a pretty lengthy lead in the spirit which are going to go over the 1:30, so would you like to stop at this juncture, and then we can get in and a presentation? that way, you can deal with the taxi issues. but i think it is important. >> ok, we are going to move to the special order regarding taxi items. i will ask staff to finish up the report. when i asked the board of secretary to colorado items 11 and 12. following the conclusion of items 11 and well, i will call for a short break, and the board will continue with the report. i apologize to those here on
9:44 pm
other agenda items. >> all right, item 11, authorizing taxicab meters fare increases of 10 cents per minute of waiting time -- for 1/5 of a mile to 55 cents to 1/5 of a mile, feeder -- bitter fare increase, and therefore not as big. so a driver may charge for a dispatch requests for non-peak hours, a 3-hour peak time -- $3 b timely dispatch read that a driver may charge during peak times, and it feels surcharge per tensest for each minute of waiting our traffic delay time and 10 cents per 1/5 of them while and that the board of directors shall hold a hearing in fiscal year 2010-2011 and at least every other fiscal year after determine whether to change taxi fares and the cap on
9:45 pm
the fees. >> i have given the success of our tax the town hall meetings held earlier this month, we are coming back to you as a board with some change recommendations based on the input of drivers and stakeholders in the taxi industry. i want to recognize i appreciate director oka. he attended one of the town hall meetings and took a great deal of time to hear what i would say were some very candid advice to staff i want to thank the entire industry who took the time out from their jobs to share their thoughts with us. again, in a very candid fashion. i think that is why we're here today. i will turn it over to our deputy director of taxi services, who will walk through items 11 and 12. >> good afternoon. that the director, taxi services. i want to first address item 11.
9:46 pm
item 11 has to do with the proposed tax the late fare increase. as you know, the materials for this meeting were submitted prior to the town hall meetings that were conducted. there were over 20 hours of town hall meetings conducted. those were very productive sessions, and we did receive a lot of valuable input. as a result of that, our recommendation has changed somewhat. to go over each element of what is in the materials before you, first, there was a recommendation that there be no change to the initial flag drop rate, the first amount of money that goes on the mir for the first 1/5 of a mile of the taxi ride. our initial recommendation was not to increase that rate, but as a result of the town hall meetings, we have revised that recommendation. unfortunately, the new recommendation is not properly noticed for the board today, so we will have to carry that forward into a future meeting, and we will discuss the specifics of that flag drop
9:47 pm
increase at that time. second, we are no longer recommending a 10 cents per 1/5 of a mile or minute wait time increase as a fuel surcharge. the reason for dropping that recommendation is that it was incremental on top of a second leader increase, and those two increments together had a very large and disproportionate effect on longer rides and in particular, the competitiveness of using a taxi to get to the airport. this is a fundamental piece of taxi driver business, and we need to make sure that our taxi's stay competitive with the limousine industry, so we need to be competitive about adjustments to distance. time and distance also have a proportionate impact on our paratransit customers and on any customer who, of course, lives in barter parts of the city, so we have to be careful, as we have learned, when we adjust
9:48 pm
distance on the meter. that is why we do not recommend at this time adopting the additional 10 cents fuel surcharge for the meter. however, there was one recommendation that involve a base meter increase, and that is a 10 cents per 1/5 of a mile, 10 cents per minute of waiting time, and that we do continue to recommend. unlike the original recommendation the cumulative feed wheat -- cumulatively would have added 20 cents, we are now recommending only a 10 cents increase. in other words, it is 45 cents per 1/5 of a mile or minutes of waiting time. we are now recommending it not go higher than 55 cents. finally, we do not recommend the peak time radio response fee at this time. that may be something that, following further study, that we choose to adopt, but again, it has a disproportionate impact on our paratransit customers, and
9:49 pm
it may seem discriminatory to people who live outside the downtown, that they have to pay to get a taxi to show up, so we may not be sending the right messages there, although generally speaking, that rate has been -- those fees were the subject of pretty comprehensive study that shows -- the basis of the study is essentially that that is the economic value you would have to put on the dispatch call in order to try somebody away from the downtown area, but there are other considerations such as the paratransit impacts and the residents concerned. at this time, possibly in the future. we are not recommending this surcharge. generally speaking, i want to let you know that there were at least two broad concepts expressed at the town hall meetings. what is that there should not be a lot of surcharges. that is uncomfortable for a driver to say $2 for the airport
9:50 pm
and $4 for the bridge when they pick you up in front of your house, and they have to keep adding on these charges that, generally speaking, we should try to do it through the meter. the second principle that was consistently expressed in the town hall meetings was to keep it simple. to not make things complicated. there were drivers who did not support any meter increase. there were drivers who supported a much higher meter increase, but we think that what we have identified here is our final recommendation with a modern flag drop and moderate time and distance increase is broadly supported by the people who attended the town hall meeting. i also want to note that the town hall meetings are a wonderful thing, and i think we need to continue the more on a regular basis so that there is this venue, but there is additional out reach required, and we're going to try to undertake that, such as driver surveys, obviously, customer service.
9:51 pm
more interaction with taxi rider's, who are generally not heard from a lot in these discussions, as well as getting down to the company's arch and down to the airport so that we have more contact with drivers. there are 7000 drivers and a lot of good ideas and a lot of opinions, and we wacontact with. finally, on the issue of -- i wanted to cover the potential paratransit impacts of the recommendation that we are making with respect to today's meeting. that is again, the 10 cents increase on 1/5 of a mile or the waiting time. we calculate that the impact to our parents of program are between $750,000 and brushing up to about $1 million of additional subsidy that we would have to provide. however, there are quite a lot of savings coming out of the paratransit program now as a result of the paratransit debit card. i consider this a very good use
9:52 pm
of the savings because we certainly want taxi drivers to feel that the paratransit program is supporting them in the same way they are supporting the paratransit program. they are very effective and successful and efficient a resource for this, and we want them to feel good about serving the paratransit customers. i think the more economic incentive we provide, the better service our customers are going to get. and the paratransit customers receive a fixed allotment of savings between $90 and up to $300 per month, so there is a fair increase, what that means for your typical paratransit customers that they can take your rights. this is an important consideration for many people, but again, due to the excellent data that we are getting from the paratransit debit card system, we can assess people's needs and i just those allotments based on demonstrated need, and we can certainly do that. we think that we can mitigate
9:53 pm
these effects by taking care of people's allotments on a case by case basis. finally, this has been a very rapid process, and we think that we have achieved a moderate solution, but we also think that going forward, that we need a better solution that is more efficient and more informed that what we have been able to pull together today. that is why we are working hard to issue a request for proposal for a consultant who has expertise in the taxi industry, and there are many tax the think tanks out there who can help us develop formulas that we can use both for gate fees and meter rate increases, and these kinds of things that really should be economic calculations based on how the business is doing rather than, you know, trying to feel our way through a lot of opinions. so that is a plan going forward.
9:54 pm
i want to say that i know the san francisco taxi customers may legitimately wonder why we are increasing the rate of a taxi fare when we have such notorious problems with taxi service in san francisco, and i want to address that. i want to urge the public to understand the service problems we are experiencing are the result of fundamental structural issues with our current model of service delivery. they are most emphatically not the fault of our drivers. in the coming months and years, we will be working with the industry and the public to address these structural issues such as the times' service, taxi supply and demand, a neighborhood service, and technology and solutions, but in the meantime, i think it is critically important that san franciscans know that they have a highly skilled, hard-working, and dedicated population of taxi drivers, a large proportion of whom had decades of experience. 20, 30, even 40 years of experience serving san
9:55 pm
francisco, and they have not had a raise in eight years. i think that none of us really appreciate how difficult it is to be a taxi driver, but i think that we need to use our imaginations for a minute. if you think it is hard to sit behind a desk for eight hours, imagine what it is like sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle for 10 years, negotiating sitting in freeway traffic. imagine having to pay $100 or $150 just for the privilege of going to work or having to turn in your salary at the end of the day if you have not produced enough. that might be a good model for us. maybe we would get more done. imagine having to pay the same amount to work even if you are sick and cannot show up. imagine waiting two hours in an airport lot under very tight controls and regulations only to pull up to the front of the line and see dozens of unregulated vehicles picking people up. imagine having to deal with extremely in mediated -- inebriated and nauseous people
9:56 pm
on a regular basis. it is an easy thing to go about, the keeping these customers from driving their own vehicles as one of the most important contributions that our drivers make. rinse the driver cannot work anymore that night because the vehicle has to be cleaned. you have heard over and over in his room about the dangers of being a taxi driver. risk of being injured in an accident when you are not at fault, the risk of being assaulted, robbed, stabbed, shot. we have not had any recent shootings, but there have been several very recent non fatal stabbings, and i do not think any of us can imagine what it is like to have the possibility of being stabbed at work. imagine having all the same skills of a bartender at the same time in order to coax a tip out of your customers. so we offer this meter increase in the spirit of respecting the hard work that you folks do and acknowledging that it is time that some of these increased
9:57 pm
costs be compensated through this meter rate increase. [applause] >> what we will do now is -- chris was speaking about item 11. would you like to hear likesonali bose related to item 12? >> not yet. that was an excellent report you gave. i know that the chair of the tax advisory committee is here also. i would like to hear from the advisory committee also. >> good afternoon, directors. we had a special meeting yesterday to discuss this very topic of the meter increase. essentially, passed a recommendation to adopt the
9:58 pm
updated meter increase that chris just spoke about in the presentation, which is essentially 10 cents per 1/5 of a mile and 10 cents per minute of which have without adding any discharges -- any surcharges. for similar reasons, we feel that the additional charges would be excessive and would compensate the pricing system for taxicab rides and affect the competitiveness of taxicabs. parts of the discussion that went on among council members were the cost of business has gone up. cost of doing business has gone up for drivers. the increase a couple of years ago, fees to renew cards, because drivers have gone up. gas prices have gone up since 2003, which was our last meter increase, so we felt that it was warranted.
9:59 pm
some council members felt that it was not warranted at the time. that was the minority opinion. others got some of the of the were thrown out, just to be a raise the meter fees, but ultimately, the recommendation we passed was to adopt the updated meter increase that staff had recommended. >> any questions? directors? >> thank you very much. thank you for your time and involvement. >> sonali bose will now speak to you regarding item 12, which is electronic -- >> both items were called together. all right, i will. all right. item 12, amending san francisco transportation code division ii to remove the specific deadline for implementation of electronic waybills. electronic waybills. >> good afternoon.